The Indonesian Submarine Has Been Found. There Were No Survivors

The submarine sank off the coast of Bali.

An Indonesian submarine that has been missing since Wednesday, April 21, has been found with no survivors. Indonesian officials declared all 53 crew members dead. Footage of the wreckage was released by the Indonesian Navy on Monday, April 26. 

The KRI Nanggala went missing after it test-fired torpedoes in the Bali Strait on April 21. Days later, Indonesian navy reported an oil leak in the area, followed by the recovery of debris believed to be part of the missing submarine. 

Underwater images captured by a robot submersible in the Bali Strait found safety jackets belonging to the sailors, and pieces of the submarine’s vertical rudder. There was also an anchor and personal items from the crew. 

The KRI Nanggala is one of only five submarines owned by Indonesia. It was built in 1970 and then refitted in 2012. It was designed to dive to a depth of up to 300 meters. When it was found, it was at a depth of 838 meters, where it was impossible for sailors to survive. 

“Based on the authentic evidence, we confirm that the KRI Nanggala has sunk and all the crew members have fallen,” Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto told a news conference on April 26.

Initially, Indonesian officials were hopeful the submarine would be found before April 24 when it was due to run out of oxygen. 

Submarine Was Split Into Three

According to Indonesia’s navy chief Admiral Yudo Margono, the submarine had split into three parts: the hull, the stern, and the rest of the main body. 

Officials ruled out an explosion as the cause of the tragedy, explaining sonars would have detected such an event. As of this writing, the cause of the sinking has yet to be determined. An investigation will continue to find out what exactly happened to the submarine so “it will not happen in the future,” Margono said. 


Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has extended his sympathies to the families of the fallen crew members.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
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